Royal Northern Sinfonia - Lars Vogt
Lars Vogt has established himself as one of the leading musicians of his generation. Born in the German town of Düren in 1970, he first came to public attention when he won second prize at the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition and has enjoyed a varied career for nearly twenty-five years. His versatility as an artist ranges from the core classical repertoire of Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms to the romantics Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov through to the dazzling Lutoslawski concerto. Lars is now increasingly working with orchestras as a conductor and in September 2015 took up his post as Music Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage, Gateshead. His second season at the helm explores Beethoven’s concertos – the five piano concertos, the Choral Fantasy and the Triple Concerto together with Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff, all of which are being recorded for the Ondine label. This season will also include the orchestra’s first tour to Asia.
During his prestigious career Lars has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkes, Berliner Philharmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Wien Philharmoniker, London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, NHK Symphony and Orchestre de Paris. He has collaborated with some of the world’s most renowned conductors including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, Mariss Jansons, Paavo Järvo, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle and Robin Ticciati. His special relationship with the Berliner Philharmoniker has continued with regular collaborations following his appointment as their first ever “pianist in Residence” in the 2003/4 season.
In addition to his ongoing relationship with Royal Northern Sinfonia Lars has conducted several ensembles including the Kölner, Münchener and Zürcher Kammerorchester, Arte del Mondo, Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Sinfonieorchester Aachen and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. This season Lars continues his conducting journey with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Nürnberger Symphoniker and Bochumer Symphoniker among others, and future dates include concerts with the Orkiestra Filharmonii Narodowej w Warszawie and Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá.
Highlights of Lars’ 2016/17 season include performances with the NHK Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Tonkünstlerorchester, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Santa Cecilia Orchestra at La Scala in Milan, the Philharmonia and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Collaborations with other musicians remain a major part of his work this season as he takes to the road with long-time artistic partner Christian Tetzlaff for a duo recital tour in the United States, Tanja Tetzlaff later accompanying them for a trio tour in Europe. Tenor Ian Bostridge also joins him in recital for Schubert’s Schwanengesang with concerts in Gateshead, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Vienna and at the Schubertiade festival in Hohenems.
Some particularly memorable engagements from the previous year included the First Night of the BBC Proms season in London and the opening of the Orchestre de Paris’ season at the Philharmonie in Paris, repeated at La Scala, Milan. Lars also toured Australia both as soloist and conductor and took part in the 15th Anniversary Chamber Music Festival at Toppan Hall in Tokyo. His concerto appearances featured the London Symphony, Munich’s Bayerischer Rundfunk, Wien Symphoniker and Boston Symphony.
Lars enjoys a high profile as a chamber musician and in June 1998 he founded his own chamber festival in the village of Heimbach near Cologne. Known as Spannungen, the concerts take place in an art-nouveau hydro-electric power station. Its huge success has been marked by the release of several live recordings on the CAvi and EMI labels. In addition to the Tetzlaff siblings and Ian Bostridge, Lars has enjoyed regular partnerships with colleagues such as Thomas Quasthoff and collaborates occasionally with actor Klaus-Maria Brandauer and comedian Konrad Beikircher.
A prolific recording artist, Lars now works closely with the Ondine label, most recently on a disc of Schubert works released in October 2016. Prior to that, his Bach Goldberg Variations with the label had unprecedented success in download charts as well as receiving widespread acclaim. Adding to his growing list of chamber recordings, recent releases on Ondine include Brahms, Mozart and Schumann sonatas with Christian Tetzlaff, and their GRAMMY nominated Brahms’ piano trios with Tanja Tetzlaff. In earlier years as an EMI recording artist, Lars made over ten discs with the label including the Hindemith Kammermusik No 2 with the Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado, plus the Schumann, Grieg and first two Beethoven Concertos with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle. Lars has also recorded for the labels CAvi (most recently a charming recording of Larcher, Schumann and Bartók works for children released in 2016) Ohems Classics (Mozart Concertos/ Orchesterhaus, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg) and Berlin Classics (solo Liszt and Schumann).
A passionate advocate of making music an essential life force in the community, in 2005 Lars established a major educational programme Rhapsody in School which brings his colleagues to schools across Germany and Austria, thereby connecting children with inspiring world-class musicians. He is also an accomplished and enthusiastic teacher and in 2013 was appointed Professor of Piano at the Hannover Conservatory of Music, succeeding Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, his former teacher and close friend.